“I don’t need a big salary, just to be considered at least a little bit”

“I don’t need a big salary, just to be considered at least a little bit”
“I don’t need a big salary, just to be considered at least a little bit”
Published on 05/01/2024 at 12:56 p.m.

Written by Florence Grandon

For some, Labor Day is an event not to be missed. The May 1 demonstration brought together employees, trade unionists, activists, associations and families. Meeting with three workers in the procession in Strasbourg.

The Strasbourg procession set off almost 30 minutes late this Wednesday, May 1. The flags flutter in the sun and the music mixes. We turn on the megaphones and sing the international a cappella. After the demands against pension reform in 2023, and the mobilization after the presidential election of 2022, the slogans for 2024 are more classic. Call for unity, against austerity, for peace or “for a more protective Europe”.

According to a recent study by the Qualisocial firm, of which our colleagues at France Info publish the conclusions, “palmost 90% [des 3 000 salariés interrogés] believe that quality of life and working conditions should be a priority or important issue for employers, and that this is not sufficiently the case currently“, 42% of them would even be disengaged and not very invested in their work.

Meetings before the start of the demonstration in Strasbourg, Place de l’Université with three employees. With one question above all: and how is work going for you?

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Estelle Frass and her husband participate in the May 1 parade every year

© Florence Grandon / France Télévisions

Estelle Fraass is 53 years old, she has worked in the public service as a social worker for 15 years. Every year, she parades on May 1 with her husband, an important event, “to show unity. And then I like the mix of genres. I also notice that there are more and more families.”

Estelle was previously a salesperson in the private sector. A professional reconversion that she is happy to have made. How is it going for her at work? “It’s not easy, precariousness is increasing, we can see it clearly. But otherwise, it’s fine“, she sums up. “Except the salary. The clue tip [des fonctionnaires, ndlr] hasn’t increased for a long time, I was able to receive the Ségur bonus, or 183 euros more per month, but certain jobs in child welfare are not entitled to it. There were several demonstrations, and I demonstrated in support, this is not normal“.

Estelle points out another problem in her work: “lack of staff in child protection. It’s really serious and no one is listening to us. We cannot allow this situation to continue!

Diane Canruh: “I love my job, our director is very attentive”

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Diane Canruh (left) participates in the May 1 demonstration with her friend Gulseren, in Strasbourg

© Florence Grandon / France Télévisions

Diane Canruh takes a selfie with several friends, just before departure. She is a cardboard maker and has been manufacturing packaging boxes for the luxury industry at Amann Packaging in Saverne for 20 years. At the question “and how is work going for you?“, she gives a big smile and responds straight away: “I like my job, it’s going well“.

We want to know more, she specifies: “I always have the last word. If I have an idea, we talk about it and it often leads to something. We have a very attentive director, he takes the time to ask each of us for our opinion, if we see improvements to be made, and we obtain them. And he tours the factory once a week.

We asked for a bench to have lunch outside, we got it. There were fans, we asked for air conditioning, they installed it in all the workshops. We have protective t-shirts and aprons, if they are damaged, they will be replaced straight away. I fell well“, she concludes.

It’s give and take, they give us what we want and as a result, we are also more productive“The recipe for these good working conditions?”The workshop manager, the director, they all listen and are not abrupt.”

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Xavier would like to be “at least considered” in his work, on May 1st in Strasbourg

© Florence Grandon / France Télévisions

Xavier, 33, is a chemist by training and has worked as a laboratory technician for 10 years. He is currently unemployed. “There, I stopped, I will start again soon. For me, it’s a subsistence job, I like the work, but it’s the surrounding conditions that are wrong“, he explains. “We are paid the minimum wage, and we are all replaceable parts. I end up leaving when people take me for a c**”.

Xavier is employed by private companies, and experiences the same thing every time: “we are squeezed like lemons. And since I work well, they always put more on me, until it becomes too much. I’m willing, I like what I do, but in this case, I would have to be given a raise, but that’s not possible. So, there are two solutions: either do the bare minimum, or leave“.

He has no choice but to leave. And reapply when he needs money again, like right now. Sometimes he stays for a long time, once he stayed for five years.

He says he is open to everything. “I could do a reconversion, I’ll see. I would like to work at the SNCF, I don’t need a big salary, but just to be at least considered in my work.”

He is part of the “We won’t die at work” collective. This is his second May 1 parade, he has put on a suit and a chemist’s mask, and stuck two small pink flowers on his cheeks. “With the collective, we decided to do a carnival parade, it was me who made all the floats, we also have a women’s choir, it’s going to be a great moment.”

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